Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Few Things That Made Me say Seriously? and left me feeling deflated

A prescription that cost $300.
A letter from Harry's school saying there will be absolutely no slow dancing permitted at his 5th grade dance.
The person who wouldn't let me merge into their slow moving lane and instead stared straight ahead and pretended not to see me.
A pint of vegan ice cream that cost $18.
Vegan ice cream.
Starting to write a different post, running out of time and coming up with this idea.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sketch of My Italian Grandfather

My grandfather used to cook dinner on Sunday. He'd get up at 5 am and by 6 he was in the kitchen washing one lettuce leaf at a time and spreading them out across paper towels lined on the table. Then he'd roll them up like a bathing-suit in a towel at camp and put them in the fridge for later. He would wash each shrimp by itself like he was giving it a bath and he would grate piles of parmesan cheese five inches high. He worked in silence and no one was allowed in the kitchen unless he called you. (I say this like it was a rule but I'm pretty sure we were in and out of the back door all day long. Like mice.) If he was mad he wouldn't talk to you directly he'd just say Jesus Christ! or Ling, would you get these kids out of here? (he called my grandmother Ling; her name was Lillian) He always wore an apron. His fingers were fat and short but he was patient when peeling the garlic (though later he liked to buy the ones that were already peeled). His Sunday outfit was a guayabera shirt with comfortable slacks and old brown leather slippers that he had forever. He wore pinky rings. For a few years he was so heavy he probably could not see his feet when he looked down.

He cooked all day until 2 or 3, and then he'd go stretch out on his bed or sit in the den with a part of the newspaper. He had two gears: sweet and loving or agitated and annoyed. (Agita!) He loved children but he definitely had a time limit. He loved to tell the same joke over and over until it was so annoying it was funny again. He didn't laugh, he giggled. He could cry from laughter at the word hiney. He was always proud of himself. Always. He came to Ellis Island and graduated from an Ivy League college that he paid for himself. He took care of his family. Sometimes he'd call his girlfriend from the phone in his room. Sometimes she even came to dinner. She sat at one end of the table and my grandmother sat at the other. We all knew. He knew we knew. That's how it was.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Elevating Trivial

In case you were wondering, yes there is a guy who will sharpen your pencil for you if you send him $15. He will sharpen it by hand and, depending upon his mood or the time of day, with a specific technique, or a slight variation thereof. (I just said thereof, possibly for the first time in my life!). He will then mail it back to you along with a plastic baggie filled with the shavings and a signed certificate verifying that it was done by hand

And when I say yeah, I don’t mean “Psh”, I mean it as an answer to another question you might be having which is “Do I really live in a world where this happens?”
Yes you do babe!
This made me think of a few things that I've been thinking about lately:
-Nothing is trivial if you put your heart and attention on it.
-It's not about what you do, but how you do it that matters.
-You need to slow down to appreciate this.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two Bugs on A Log

I'm not from here.
Oh yeah, where are you from?
Not here. That's for damn sure.
What's that supposed to mean?
What do you think it's supposed to mean?
It sounds like you're being high and mighty.
I am high and mighty.
See, that's exactly what I'm talking about.
Yeah, okay.
No seriously. What's wrong with knowing that about myself?
That you're high and mighty?
Well for one thing, if you really were, you wouldn't have to say it.
You think?
Can you please not say that.
"You think?" Ugh, I hate that so much. It's so, I don't know, ugh, it just gives me the creeps. It's so condescending and self righteous. So morning news anchor person-ish. Where you think you're attractive and smart and funny but you're really off the mark by about 3 feet in every possible way.
But I was really asking you.
You were?
Oh I thought you were using that annoying expression that everyone uses when they're desperate and alone and miserable and trying to fit in. The same ones who eat mints and use hand sanitizer all day. The ones who say "I just threw up in my mouth" when they see something disturbing and think they are being funny.
No that's not me.
It's okay.
I got carried away.
It happens.
You were saying?
I was saying I'm not from around here.
Yeah, me neither.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Your Pets Say (about you)

My dog Lester has a brain the size of a pistachio. Without the shell. Sometimes when I am working, I look down and slightly to my right and he’s staring at me with his eyes glazed and unblinking like someone who has been hypnotized. Then there’s the underbite. Isn’t an underbite always a sign that your parents were brother and sister? There’s also his passive willingness to let Darla dress him up in wigs and baseball caps or to let Harry put a tube sock on his head. He just sits there and lets them.
Oh Lester. Oh Laz. Oh Lazlio.
It could also mean that he is a superior being, possibly a genius. So far above all living creatures that nothing disturbs him. Not even a tuba played near his head while he sleeps. Maybe he is meditative, thoughtful, accepting of all. Yes, cover my head with a bucket and have a chuckle, I am filled only with love.
Of course, if you could listen to his interior monologues, you might just hear wind blowing, possibly the sound of tumbleweeds on sand. And that is all.
Daisy is a pleaser. The moment I open my eyes in the morning, she is sitting up and looking at me. What do you need? What can I do? How can I help? This can be annoying. Nobody likes a kiss ass. Or desperation. But she smiles too. It’s more like a grimace and a snarl. It’s curious, this smile. It keeps you guessing. It simultaneously makes you laugh and feel uncomfortable.
What is happening? I’m talking about animals. I’m talking about my pets on a blog. Should I just keep going?
I hate cats but of course I have one (inherited from Mo) and of course I love him most of all. Why? He’s mother fucking Leroy that’s why. He seems friendly and like he cares about you, and then he shreds your arm with his nails and teeth. Shreds. I have seen him cause more than one adult to cry. He doesn’t care about you or the goddam horse you rode in on, so step OFF.
OK, I’ll stop. I’m done…
I think I just realized I described the three sides of my personality.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On Why I Am A Champion

I'd like you to know that I still hold the title as a champion time waster. In honor of that, I am posting this oldie so that I can go waste some more time whirling down an internet vortex get some work done.

   Sometimes I worry about the fact that I am a champion time-waster. No one can compete with me. You may think you can, I can give the impression of getting a few things done, here and there, and you may have the thought, no, no way, I can waste twice as much time as she can. But you are wrong. So very wrong. So very, very wrong. See that was just a little sample of two maybe three milliseconds of time wasting; the fact that I wrote a sentence with the words “very very” in it. Right there. Like it was nothing. See how good I am? Also the fact that I have now written the words “The fact that…” three times even though Strunk and White (Elements of Style, google it babe) have written that you should never do that. What would Strunk and White say about LOL, I wonder, or WTF? See? I just did it AGAIN; I distracted myself from my main focus with a question. Three points. Shabam. You don’t stand a chance.

Ok so anyway, I’m writing this because I am sick of staring at a script I have been working on for almost ten years. I’m on page 34. I’m still staring at this. When will it end. The thing is, it’s fantastic. The script I mean. Of course it is. How do I have so much confidence when I am a failure at so many things? I just cried as I wrote that, cried and then laughed. Is that a bad sign?

I have an image of myself sitting at a table in front of the computer just clicking through different sites, just navigating through, from house decorating to amazon books, to wedding decorations, to shoe sales, to different blogs, to entertainment “news”, to Huff Po, to medical diseases most common to those in my family, to a photo of George Clooney in 5th grade. I need to see that, I need to have a good, long look. See George was a dork once, how about that? He may have even possibly cut his own hair with a pair of nail clippers. And now he’s, well he’s George, he’s charming and funny and politically correct. That’s got to be a good sign. There’s hope. Although he did just break up with another girlfriend. Hmm.
Omg, I just distracted myself. I’m that good, people, while writing about wasting time, I distracted myselfThere’s no way you stand a chance. The image of myself, that’s what I’m talking about. (Did you notice how rhythmically similar that sounds to “To Be or Not To Be, That is the question?”) The image of myself is this: Of a person stuffing all these thoughts, sites, videos, photos, into my mouth, like a squirrell stuffing nuts. It’s soul crushing: this information stuffing as a way of distraction thing that I do and yet I can’t stop. That’s what all the champions say: I can’t stop.
There should be an award for this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Futility of Rage

There’s no crying in baseball. Everybody knows that. There’s no crying in baseball unless you live in the same neighborhood as the stadium, and a drive down the street that normally takes less than a minute suddenly turns into a never-ending journey filled with pain, remorse, and sorrow.
You can always toot your horn.
Trust me, everyone else does.
I am sitting in my car because I need to get milk, lactaid, if you must know, because we’re done with the dairy. I am sitting here imagining that if I sawed off my arms and both legs with a broken pencil and then crawled to Vons on my bleeding stumps, I would have been back and forth twice already.
Toot toot!
Ok, people keep it going. Keep the flow steady.
An entire family wearing Dodger blue t-shirts walks by carrying lawn chairs, coolers and a picnic table.
Come on!
Oops, and there’s little Gran pulling up the rear with the hibachi grill in a wagon.
I text all three of my children. “Nice knowing u. Good Luck with everything”.
Dar texts back, “Don’t forget toilet paper. “We R out”.
By the time I see the guy directing traffic, I am fully ready to commit a medieval violent act. This guy. What good is he? How dare he try to be authoritative right now. He’s wearing shorts! I glare at him for so long that I get exhausted. Now I feel bad. He’s not even a cop, really. He probably teaches woodworking at a magnet school in Simi Valley. He’s doing this because he loves baseball. He probably gets a season pass in exchange for trying to maintain order in the middle of utter chaos. He is serious with his hand signals though. He is not messing around with his hand-signals and his facial expressions. Bless him. Now I feel bad.
I can’t help myself. I’m not a good person. Even though I feel for this guy, I try to sneak between the cones into a completely empty lane.
He’s got the hand up and the whistle going. He comes at me with his bull-dog face.
“HEY! You can’t wait?”
(I secretly love that he asks me this in utter disbelief rather than just slamming his hand down on the hood of my car and calling me a stupid fucking idiot, which is how we do it in Philly).
I roll down my window and lean my head out like a beautiful blond cheerleader, “Oh darn, I’m so sorry, I’m just trying to get home, I thought that lane was for turning”.
No you didn’t!
(How does he know I’m lying?) Yes I did! I’m sorry.
No you’re not.
(We have the following conversation while I slowly keep driving past the cones onto the empty lane like a tip-toeing Wile E. Coyote)
Yes I am really sorry.
No you’re not.
Yes, I am. I really truly am.
(Then, we’re yelling as I get further away) No you’re not.
Yes I am!
No you’re not.
Yes I am!
No you’re not.
I am. I really really am.
I can see him in my rear view mirror. He is smiling! He is chuckling, that devil. Look at him.  I love baseball again, I love the fam in Dodger blue, I love the granny, I love the traffic, I love everyone, I love the stadium and the green grass and the red and yellow seats, I love the cheering and the fireworks that I can see from my window, but most of all I love this guy for recognizing futility when the circumstances are asking for it. 
There’s no crying in baseball. And there's no crying in bad traffic. Amen.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Club

                                                    Secret Handshake

  I don’t really think of Mother’s Day as a holiday. Or I guess I should say it never feels like a day that’s different from any other. I was young when I had Mo, my two closest friends were still in college, no one was even thinking about having kids yet and so I didn’t have anyone to talk to about the usual “Oh my god I just had a baby and now what do I do” kind of stuff. I didn't even have a baby shower. My mom was helpful, but mostly Jake and I had to figure it out on our own. When Mo cried for hours at night and no amount of holding would soothe her, we turned on the vacuum. And it worked! I didn't call my friends to ask about feeding or nursing or tantrums or schools, I called them to see if they could babysit.

  I always had a knee-jerk cringe reaction to mommy and me kind of play-groups (I think mainly because I felt insecure about not fitting in), and this belief held over to when Darla and Harry were little. I felt like an outsider. I didn't think of motherhood as something shared, everyone has to figure it out on their own. I have different views about certain things from my friends, and sisters; why talk about it? I didn't feel like just because we were mothers we could all join together and sing around the campfire. But yesterday something weird happened. Starting early in the morning I received a few emails from friends, who are also mothers, wishing me a Happy Day. Then texts, then a few more texts, then a couple of calls. And I realized that even though we might have different opinions about raising children, we all know one thing: nothing about being a mother is easy. We can all agree on that and support each other because of it. 

 It reminded me of the time when Harry was 3 and I lost him in Target. I called his name and my voice went from impatient to frantic to terrified. I kept seeing shadowy video clips from the security camera  in my head of a man exiting the store, holding Harry's hand. Both Darla and I were running through aisles, screaming his name. Then all of a sudden, different Mothers came out of no where: "What's he wearing? How old is he? I'll go the front door. I'll check the parking lot." I didn't even know these people! They all just stopped what they were doing to help me. Finally someone yelled from the far end of the store "He's here!"

Before I could even say thank you, before we could commiserate and roll our eyes and shake our heads, before I could even stop shaking, they were all gone, back to their busy schedules, always doing three things at once, rushing to get things done. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mom Training Camp

Lots of Moms milling around. Some jogging. A few doing calisthenics. Coach blows whistle.

COACH: Ok people listen up. Off the field, come on. Hustle... Hustle. Come on Fatty, put a little wiggle in your wagon. Atta Girl. Atta Girl. Ok Ladies. I want you all to listen up because this is important. Today I found this posted in the locker room. Yep. Don't act like you didn't see it. You there, Baxton, can you see it in the back? Can you see it now? Ok.  I want you to take a good long look at this. I want you to take this in. I know one of you put it up there. Now maybe you thought it was funny. Maybe you think you're trying to send a message about what's right. Maybe you're just trying to be titillating. Yes I just said titillating. Yup, laugh it up ladies, go ahead. I'll wait here all day.

Keep laughing because I have two words for you: Hell to the FUCK NO. Ok? Yes I am serious. Look, people, people, calm down. This is no way to carry on. If you want to suckle your teenage son before he gets his license, go on ahead; suckle him at the prom, I don't care. Suckle him at the goddam half-time of his champion soccer game, but don't you dare put your hand on your hip and glare at me and try to act like you are doing the right thing, the better thing for your child. Don't sass me with your "Are you Mom Enough?" FUCK YOU. Listen to me. Now, I love ya, and I know you're trying to do the right thing here, but this has nothing to do with being a good mother. This has nothing to do with what's right for children. This has everything to do with you being a control FREAK. This has everything to do with the fact that you want to work but you also want to prove that you're a good mother. This has everything to do with the fact that you're probably not getting your groove on with your baby daddy. OH YES I DID LADIES. Yes I motherfucking did. Go ahead. Tell me I'm a damaged, woman-hating, self-hating, sad, judgmental, uptight bitch who can't help it because I grew up in a paternalistic society. Go ahead. Get it all out. I'll wait. I can take it. It's nothing I haven't heard before. You done? OK. First of all I'm not talking to you gals who nurse for a year, ok? Second of all, titties are for sexual pleasure. End of story.

BAXTON: But that's not--

COACH: (holding a hand up) Up-bup-bup -bup-bup. Save it Baxton. I'm not saying titties aren't also for giving milk. But which comes first? Which is it? That's right: Sex. Then baby. Boom. End of story. Why do you think people are upset by this photo? That's right. It's sexual. THAT IS ALL. You think I'm a pervert? Ok. Fine. It's sexual. And come on, be honest, no one likes a pedophile. (Least of all that poor uncomfortable-looking child in the photo).

I'm not going to waste my time here if you're not going to be honest with me about this. It's not beautiful, it's not loving. It's sex-U-AL. And I'm not saying it's not all right to be sexual. Come on. Please. But I'll say it again: No one likes a pedophile.

Third of all, and this is where I want you to fall in and listen up, this is not about what's best for your baby. You need to admit that. This is about you. This is about the fact that you can't admit that you know nothing about being responsible for the growth and well being of another human being. And guess what babe, that's OK. None of us do. We're all just making it up as we go along. We read the books, we buy the organic food (some of us), we don't yell at our kids (all day long), we ask them their opinion, but guess what your children are still going to have issues. They're still going to struggle in the world. Why? Because they're human. They're still going to hate you at some point but (hopefully) they'll get through it.
So please, for the love of sweet heavenly Father, please don't post pictures like this. It stirs up battles. It stirs up anger. It stirs up hatred. The woman in the photo is going to get death threats as well as propositions and then pretend like she's still "right". The poor child, god bless him, I can guarantee you, is still going to have hard times in his life (possibly more than average). We do not need this right now. I'm all for titties in the face, but not here. Not like this. And by the way, one more thing, this woman is 26, she's young, her boobs are still perky, she's blond. If you're going to hang a photo like this in the locker room, let's have the balls to be realistic.

Ok ladies, give me 25 push-ups! That's two five. Come on. (blows whistle)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More Things That Make You Feel Like You're In A David Lynch Movie

(This is chapter 2 of an old post I wrote)

You walk into someone's office and the person behind the desk yells into the phone "Just tell him not to dilly-dally" and then slams it down and looks up at you sweetly, "Yes?"

The person seated at the table next to you is having a coughing fit and when the waitress whacks him on the back, the small face of a lady's watch flies out.

You are talking with a professor who is seated in front of 3 taxidermed crows. They are staring at you.

As your waitress stands beside your table reciting today's specials you notice she has a spot of blood on her shoe.

At a high-school football halftime you see a beautiful one-armed cheerleader twirling a baton.

The cop who has pulled you over bends to look in the back window and starts singing inky dinky spider to your crying baby in the back seat.

While you are cleaning out dried wood and debris from behind the garage, you find a wig half buried under the leaves.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Middle School: Semper Fi

I don't know anything about middle school but from what I understand it is a training camp for terrorists. When your child gets ready to go, they should have a huge poster of a happy little fifth grader, all open-smile, eye-brows up, giggle, hiccups, ray of sunshine next to one of an eighth grader, mouth set tight, eyebrows, down, bottled up rageful FURY, just so you know what you're getting into. You need to be prepared for the training that takes place there, that your child will have day after day of extreme humiliation, pain and grief. Now and then there might be a moment of laughter and joy but don't be fooled, it means nothing. If life outside of school is difficult, forget about it. There is no life outside of school.

I did not know about this. I went to an all girls private school where we picked daisys and danced around a maypole; we got in trouble for running in the halls or chewing gum in class. At middle school here, the students throw gum at their teachers, they say FUCK in front of their teachers, they run down the hall, knock someone down, and keep GOING. And this is in the valley; right around the corner from a goddam Whole Foods.

I've had to completely change my strategy of parenting.

Darla comes home from school and she is crying. I can't ask her what's wrong because that is annoying-go away-I hate you. But I can't help myself, What's wrong bubby?


You're crying.

Some guy told me I have a big forehead and everyone laughed.

Did you punch him in his fat fucking face?


Did you tell him people with big foreheads have bigger brains??

Yeah, that was a really convincing argument. (She continues to cry).

Maybe you can rent your forehead out for advertising.

Go away!

"People do that", I say but I do as I'm told. What's wrong with people. Why do we lash out when we feel insecure? Every single person in the world has to struggle. Isn't that enough? Why does it take so much time to get a perspective. I look in the mirror. I have a big forehead too, as do all the women in my family. It's a drag  but we deal with it.

I realize that's a good motto for middle school.

I write I love you on my forehead and go look for Dar.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cancer Sucks

Sometimes I have a few ideas in my head and I don’t know why they’re in there together but I figure there’s a reason that will eventually present itself. This weekend I was thinking about Adam Yauch  and then I was thinking, randomly, about morale. I was thinking about morale because I saw The Avengers, and one of the characters, Captain America, the old-timey superhero, said something about not being able to speak disparagingly about a leader because it was bad for morale. It makes sense that the old fashioned super-hero said that, because most of us don't think that way anymore. I'm not saying we are not kind or supportive or moved by sweetness and light, but it seems like we don't care about thinking like a group. Not only are we not concerned about not thinking like a group but if someone says something we disagree with, we don't just leave it at that, we also have to think he is a fucking stupid moron who deserves to get hit by a bus. Look at any online comment section, especially if the article has to do with a politician or celebrity, and you'll see (sometimes thousands of) letters filled with so much hatred and bile that it's hard not to feel pissed off after reading it. A person writes an article about Obama, then someone reads it and writes in about how Obama is like Hitler, then I read it and think that person is an insane kook. The bile grows and multiplies like, well like unhealthy cells. No one is immune, not Rush Limbaugh or the Kardashians or the people who hate them. It's just a big swirling cesspool of anger and disgust.

Until someone dies.

I'm not about to say that suddenly everyone recognizes the sadness and then starts hugging and saying I'm sorry, or even that the outpouring of love stops the flow of anger temporarily. (People still said: Who the fuck is he? Everyone dies. I hate the Beastie Boys. Why the fuck is Coldplay singing one of their songs, they're just riding the death coat-tails...etc.) But most of us were sad, sad because he was so young, because it was cancer (again) and because the Beastie Boys represented a time and sound that we weren't ready to say goodbye to yet.

I didn't know Adam but I have friends and family members who did. If you lived in New York, a small town, in the late 80's or 90's chances are you knew someone who knew one of the Beastie Boys or you hung out where they did, or you saw one of them on the subway. They were like your brothers or cousins, and depending on whether or not you liked their music, they were either annoying and immature or amazing and fun. If you lived in New York, you knew who they were, you knew their style, you knew their sound. You probably could recite at least one line of one song.

I still don't know exactly why I was thinking so much about Adam and morale at the same time, I mean other than that the death of each had to do with cancer, but remembering Adam and his music reminded me of when I first started walking around New York with a walkman. My life was changed! It was so different from just listening at home. Before, walking was a chore, something you wanted to rush through to get where you were going. Suddenly it was an experience and you saw yourself separately from yourself. I felt like I was in a movie and when I walked to work I had my own soundtrack. This was one of the songs I'd listen to, rewind, and listen to again and again.

It reminded me that when someone dies, we think about the things we will miss, we let go of expectations because we have to, which is maybe how we should think all of the time.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Golden Retriever Anonymous

My name is Deirdre Lewis and I hate golden retrievers.

Hi Deirdre! Welcome.

This is hard for me.

We’re here for you, honey, go ahead.

It’s hard because I love all dogs, I really do, even cocker spaniels with brown eye boogers. I love them, even when they smell like the driver seat in an un-air-conditioned greyhound bus. The thing about golden retrievers though; they’re evil. They look like the all American cheerleader/quarterback, they act friendly and all “Hey, howya doing”, but really they are planning to destroy the world.

Mmm hmm. That’s right.

If Rush Limbaugh was a dog, I guarantee he’d be a golden retriever: a big fat one that weighs as much as a 16 wheeler. All he’d do is lick his balls slowly and loudly and lovingly all day, and then thump his tail once or twice when you walked in through the front door. Like it's a big goddam deal. But secretly he’d be planning to pull your arm out of your socket when you take him for a walk.

So true.

It is! When I walk my dogs and this lady comes down the street with her golden retriever, I have to cross to the other side. You think he’s going to be friendly, I mean his name is Zac or Cody and he wears a bandana, but he’s not. In two seconds he’d have his paw on their back and be humping their little faces. It’s sickening…oh.

You can do it Deirdre! We love you!

I hate them. I hate their fur. I hate their panting. I hate how heavy they are and what they smell like. I hate that they are so traditional. I hate that everyone loves them. Even my own mother. She has one. I’ve tried to talk her into setting it free near the highway, but she thinks I'm kidding. She's completely in denial, even after the dog once tried to kill her by dragging her down a hill and forcing her to crack her head open on a rock. She doesn't get it! She just..doesn't...get it. I'm sorry....Thank you. My name is Deirdre Lewis and I hate golden retrievers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beautiful Remake

Perfect slow dance.

Cats In My Neighborhood

Cat Caller: The guy who sells incense at the farmer’s market has long hair and a beard and wears a black karate outfit like he’s some sort of evolved yogi superior being. He sits on the wall with his legs crossed and looks like he’s meditating but then when you walk by he says stuff like oh look at your shoulders, so pretty, or I love those socks, those are fantastic. He says it low enough that you’re not sure if you heard it right but when you turn to look, What?, he raises his eyebrows a couple of times and stares a hole into you: creepy as a pedophile in a grease stained suit.

Cat Lady: Senora walks everywhere rolling her suitcase behind her. I’m not sure where or if she works but I have seen her in the middle of the city wearing her visor and pulling that old bag. Even as I write this I can hear those wheels on the cement. She’s got to be 80. She lives around the corner from me. She carries a ziplock bag full of dried cat food that she leaves in piles under bushes and along the garden walls. My cat Leroy, who sits and stares at me like I’m insane when I hold the door open for him, will run out from wherever he is hiding when he hears those rolling wheels. He’ll walk with her around the block, his tail high in the air, while she talks to him in Spanish.